On April 28th, the iTunes Store basked in a milestone 10th birthday. Two years before its 2003 launch (as the iTunes Music Store), Apple introduced the iTunes client as a desktop music management program and implemented it as the device manager for the first iPod later in 2001. In those two years, Apple laid the groundwork for what can reasonably be called the iTunes era of music.
Apple did not invent digital music, even though for many iTunes embodies 21st century music buying. However, during the past 10 years, it has become the US’ top music retailer, with customers currently downloading 15,000 songs per minute from the app’s library of 26 million songs, according to an Apple spokesperson. Since its launch, it has evolved into the hub of a powerhouse media / tech ecosystem that turned Apple into the world’s most valuable company in 2012.
As a symbolic milestone, the iTunes anniversary encourages reflection on the past, a survey of the present and predictions of the future. Digital music continues to evolve, for businesses, consumers and musicians. Continue reading